Flower, not Flower

Yutang Lin

Made of Liu Li, tender hand holds flower delicate,
When flower is not flower, what then would it be?
The Diamond Sutra indicated, it is named "flower."
A Chan practitioner might reply directly, "Liu Li!"


A disciple offered me a necklace with a Liu Li (lazurite) pendant in the shape of a tender hand holding a delicate flower, and the manufacturer of the ornament named it "Flower, not Flower." In accordance with such a situation I asked the disciple, "Flower, not flower, then what is it?"

According to the "Three Steps Involving Breaking down and Setting up" argument type of the Diamond Sutra (Cf. my work "Essential Principles of the Diamond Sutra"), then: Flower, not flower, is named "flower."

If a Chan (Zen) practitioner encountered this, then the direct response might be: "Liu Li!"

Written in Chinese on November 29, 2006
Translated on December 1, 2006
El Cerrito, California

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